There aren’t a lot of downsides to having a writing career, but the one that has probably stung the most is the reduction of my available reading time. My life is pretty full—I’ve got a husband, three kids, three dogs, a cat, and a never ending cascade of deadlines. So when I manage to carve out time to just curl up with a book and escape, I’m particular about what I choose. I need to be able to not think about the mechanics of what’s written on the pages…I need to be able to get lost. That can be a tall order, since there are days when the written word has twisted me into so many knots that all I want to do is crawl away and watch something mindless. But a couple of years ago, when I was hunting for something new to read and downloading samples onto my Nook, I got lucky. Like, really, really lucky. Somehow, I stumbled onto Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh, and my obsession with the Guild Hunters series was born.
Elena Deveraux is my kind of heroine. She’s gorgeous, lethal and snarky, but she’s also vulnerable in ways that only those closest to her know about. In the first book, she’s a vampire hunter, tracking down wayward vamps for the angels they serve—not the biblical idea of angels, but rather a race of beautiful winged beings who rule over mankind, with the archangels at the top of the hierarchy. Only angels can sire a vampire, and once they do, that vampire signs a contract to serve the angel for a hundred years. Sometimes, the vamps bolt…and that’s where the Guild comes in. Elena is “Licensed to Hunt Vampires and Assorted Others,” and she’s the best at what she does. That’s what gets her hired by the archangel who rules New York City, Raphael. He doesn’t want her to hunt a vampire, though…he wants her to track down an archangel gone bad. Raphael is beautiful, ancient, and powerfully drawn to Elena. And Elena, despite all her better judgment, is equally fascinated by him. The chemistry between them is…well, you know those books where you’re actually on the edge of your seat every time the hero and heroine are together because the sexual tension is just that hot? Yeah. Elena and Raphael are like that. Like, “Oh my God please do it now and stop tormenting me” hot.
The first three books in the series focus mainly on Elena and Raphael, who have a lot of issues to work through. A childhood horror has left her emotionally scarred, and Raphael is not remotely human. That’s one of the things I love about the series…none of the angels we meet are just humans with wings. They’re beautiful, but very alien in some ways. They think and feel, but differently, and in ways that can sometimes come off as rather cold. Figuring them out, what each of them wants and needs, is incredibly interesting to me—and there are plenty of them to get fixated on (you will, I promise, fall hopelessly in love with at least one of Raphael’s Seven, the tightly-knit circle of vampires and angels devoted completely to Raphael’s safety). The vampires are just as intriguing…especially Dmitri, the ancient, magnetic vampire who serves as Raphael’s second-in-command. He’s the focus of the fourth book, Archangel’s Blade. That man is sex on a stick, and that’s all I’m going to say about it, because you need to read him to experience him properly. Just…wow.
I could go on for hours. Days, even. This series is one of my very favorite things. When the newest book, Archangel’s Storm, came out in September, I holed up for several hours in the recliner with my iPad, endless cups of Chai, and best of all, secretive, sexy, black-winged Jason. I devoured the book, basked in the afterglow, and then did my usual and started pining for books about either sweet, blue-winged Illium or the ethereal, shattered Aodahn. This series has everything I love: compelling characters, fluid, effortless prose, and a world that mixes the familiar and the fantastic in such a way that I want to be there. Preferably with some wings of my own. They’re the sort of books that make me want to be a better writer and cherish being a reader all at the same time—the kind of books that made me want to be a writer in the first place. Because when you step into a story and forget everything but your own sense of wonder at what’s unfolding around you, it is, quite simply, magic…and that’s what reading is all about.
Thanks, Jen, for having me here to share my favorite series…and I hope some of you will check it out if you haven’t already. You won’t be disappointed!
Thank you Kendra for sharing your recommendation with us! I asked Kendra to be part of this feature because her Dark Dynasties paranormal romances are awesome. They center on a deliciously tortured breed of heroes called the Cait-Sith. They are maligned, sexy, Cat shifters in need of strong women to help them realize their worth. The world building is intricate, but it’s fascinating. The romances are hot and every book has left me satisfied. Click here to get the deets on book 1, Dark Awakening.
In the meantime, here is your chance to give the Guild Hunter series a try. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win any book in the series backlist. That means you can choose either Angels Blood, Archangel’s Kiss, Archangel’s Consort, Archangel’s Blade or Angel’s Flight. This one is open internationally.
*”Favorites from…” photo: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos